Dominic Thiem said that a lot of guys with one-handed backhands are beating Rafael Nadal more than in the past on clay. Does Roger Federer feel feel he has a chance in an eventual Rome Open semifinals match? The Swiss replied: "I mean, I'm so far away in the draw, I don't even know where he is, if I'm in his section or not.
But I have other problems first getting there. Yeah, it's true. I thought Stefanos was very impressive against him last week. I saw the end of the game. Then also obviously Dominic in, what is it, Barcelona played great. Stan has also played him tough in the past.
This time it didn't work out in Madrid. Yeah, I mean, possibly. There is a bit of a new wave coming through with the one-handed backhand that can counter some of Rafa's spins and lefty play. But, again, this is maybe also just a moment in time.
We'll see what happens for the rest of the year." On how it felt to comeback on clay for the first time in three years, Federer added: "I felt I actually came back fairly quickly. Especially now with having played Madrid, I think the decision making also came back quite natural.
I think it always goes back to the fact that I did grow up on this surface. Sliding is something I actually enjoy doing. The problem is, like, the more time I spend on clay, maybe sometimes the more excited I get playing on the surface, start sliding around too much instead of actually moving sometimes like on the hard courts and only sliding when really required.
I think this week, then next week in Paris, it's going to be interesting to see how I play the points, how I do it all. In Madrid, like we said, conditions were extremely fast, so you could play serve and volley, you could come to the net.
Here maybe it's easier to play dropshots, easier maybe to go backhands up the line. On fast courts it's maybe not so simple to do that at will. I must say also in practice in Switzerland I felt good right away. Very happy where I'm at, to be quite honest. I was a bit surprised that it went as easy as it did, yeah."